Oklahoma earthquake: Tremors felt in Wichita

Yes, that shaking you felt this morning in the Wichita area really was a tremor from an earthquake.
MCCLATCHY-TRIBUNE INFORMATION SERVICES Modified: October 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm •  Published: October 13, 2010

WICHITA -- Yes, that shaking you felt this morning in the Wichita area really was a tremor from an earthquake.

Shortly after 9 a.m., an earthquake that measured 4.5 on the Richter scale occurred about 10 miles east of Norman, Okla., said Don Blakeman, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey's earthquake information center in Golden, Colo.

"You definitely would have felt it in Wichita," Blakeman said. "We're calling this a 4.5 for now, but that may change a little bit."

The tremors in Wichita lasted for about a minute.

Over the last year or two, there have been a series of earthquakes in Jones and Spencer, Okla., which are near Norman.

"They were smaller than this one," Blakeman said.

According to the USGS, earthquakes with magnitude of about 2.0 or less are usually called microearthquakes; they are not commonly felt by people and are generally recorded only on local seismographs. Events with magnitudes of about 4.5 or greater -- there are several thousand such shocks annually -- are strong enough to be recorded by sensitive seismographs all over the world.

Great earthquakes, such as the 1964 Good Friday earthquake in Alaska, have magnitudes of 8.0 or higher.

On the average, one earthquake of such size occurs somewhere in the world each year. The Richter Scale has no upper limit.

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(c) 2010, The Wichita Eagle, Kan.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.



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